Tough new laws introduced to Parliament today will allow authorities to force Google and other search engines to stop promoting websites that facilitate the illegal downloading of music, films, and other media. It turns out Village Roadshow CEO, Graham Burke, had some bloody words for Google while they’re at it, too.

While sites like The Pirate Bay have already been outright blocked in Australia, Communications Minister Mitch Fifield reckons the current laws don’t push hard enough on a wider range of websites. The new laws would essentially stomp out new piracy players as they emerge and keep search engines from “unashamedly facilitating crime”.

Speaking with News Corp, Mr Burke went all in on Google, going as far as to say the tech giant is acting “as evil as Big Tobacco,” which is probably a bit much, mate.

“We stand ready to be co-operative with Google. We see good Google and bad Google. But bad Google is as evil as Big Tobacco was 30 years ago. They know what they’re doing. They know they’re facilitating and enabling crime and it’s time for them to clean their act up,” he said.

Look, we get it, Google isn’t exactly saintly in all of its online behaviour, but likening them to tobacco, which actively gives people cancer, is a bit of a bloody stretch.

“If you type in Mad Max Fury … that’s all you have to type in, auto complete will say ‘Mad Max Fury Road Download Free’ and take you to the criminal site,” he continued. Let’s test this theory.

https://www.pedestrian.tv/content/up...1.33.09-am.png

No dice, Burke. For argument’s sake, though, let’s search ‘Mad Max Fury Road Download Free’ and see what we get.

https://www.pedestrian.tv/content/up...1.39.13-am.png

As you can see, I checked out a couple of those results and was met, firstly, with an hour-long video of the Paramount intro and a dodgylinkto download the movie, and secondly, an article that had nothing to do with the movie, spruiking some DVD software.

I’m not calling Mr Burke a liar, but I think he’s overexaggerating a little. Piracy is still a big issue, sure, but instead of wasting time playing whack-a-mole with torrent mirror sites, it might be worth addressing why Australians are downloading content illegally in the first place. Similar to the failed war on drugs, if people want to access content in a suss way, then they’re going to find a way to do it, regardless of how tough your laws are.

If content was made easier to access legally – and no, I don’t mean forcing people to pay for a fucking Foxtel connection so they can watch the two shows they’re after – this probably wouldn’t be an issue, but here we are.

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